City approves development for South Water Street

The city’s Redevelopment Authority and common council have approved a memorandum of understanding for a multi-family development on South Water Street.

Watertown’s Redevelopment Authority and common council have approved a multi-family development for South Water Street.

The Watertown Common Council voted Tuesday to approve a memorandum of understanding with T. Wall Enterprises to develop the property adjacent to the town square.

The proposal, which was earlier approved by the RDA, includes a 75-unit, multi-family development with private, underground parking and approximately 3,000 square feet of commercial space on the main floor.

“We believe this project is a great fit for downtown Watertown,” said Kristen Fish, RDA executive director. T. Wall first contacted Fish in the fall of 2018. Since then, the RDA and city have been working with the developer to align this project with the city’s interests. “Housing was always something we wanted to see in our downtown redevelopment project…housing brings more residents with discretionary spending to the downtown, add to the local property value, and improve public use and enjoyment of the downtown and the surrounding area,” Fish added. “We think we have a great development on tap,” she said.

T. Wall has agreed to invest at least $11 million which has an assessment value of at least $6,750,000 when completed.

Fish pointed out at a July RDA meeting that, “The collected taxes from the buildings that were torn down in the 100 block of West Main Street were approximately $25,600 per year.

That value, while significant, could easily be replaced by a development which, if between $8-10 million, could pay between $150,00 and $175,000 in taxes per year.”

T. Wall Enterprises LLC is a multi-family, office, and retail development company that has developed and currently owns hundreds of high-end apartments in Madison, Middleton, Waunakee, Sun Prairie, and Green Bay. T. Wall, one of the largest developers in the state and a leader in green development, reports its properties are constructed of the highest quality materials and have little to no vacancies.

The memorandum calls for high ceilings, wide hallways, insulated walls, luxury vinyl planking, and solid core doors.

Nick Patterson, development representative for T. Wall said, “Rents will be between $800 and $1,500 per month for the studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, and two-bedroom units with a courtyard facing the river.” Early conceptual drawings indicated a swimming pool.

The city’s contribution to the project will include the land for $1 and a developer funded Tax Increment Financing incentive of $1,790,000 plus interest over the life of the negotiated period.

The project timetable requires T. Wall to begin construction by Jan. 15, 2022 and complete the project by June 1, 2023.

“I am delighted in the progress we’ve made on the redevelopment of the Water Street area,” said Mayor Emily McFarland. “This new development, the town square, and library addition are the result of hundreds of hours of hard work by so many people…thank you. Truly these investments are providing significant opportunity for Watertown to strengthen its economy and provide better quality of life for our local businesses and residents.”

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